tv Charlie Rose WHUT April 11, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am EDT
>> rose: welcome to our program. tonight, an exclusive interview with bashar ja'afari, he is syria's ambassador to the united nations. >> i don't deny that victims, innocent victims, fall in this crisis and i am... it's a pity. not only for me, it's a pity for all syrians all over the world, including syria itself. we are not denying the facts. what we are saying is that please stop manipulating our own people. the syrian people it is a matter of doing business, political business. qatar, saudi arabia, turkey and other nations in the world are using our crisis as a card of business, making business. this is a dirty game and it
couldn't be done at the detriment of the syrian people. and i said it. whether we are talking about one victim or 10,000 victims this is a huge price that the syrian people are paying. if everybody commits to putting an end to the violence by tomorrow morning, 6:00, timing of damascus, yes, we are on the right track, number one. number two, the... >> rose: the right track that could bring a change in the government of syria, including the president? >> up to the people's will. it's not up to qatar's will, it's not up to saudi arabia will it's not up to united states will, it's not up to sarkozy will. it's up to the syrian people will. >> rose: we conclude this evening with golf and the winner of the masters, bubba watson. >> when i got to the course, beau van pelt shot 64. so you heard a bunch of roars and sunday at the masters is always wild, always great. great theater so i eagled both hole on the back nine before. three putted the first hole but
birdied the second hole after he double eagled so i was just focused on what i had to do. i didn't think about catching him right away, tried to play steady, play my game and make some birdies coming down the stretch and somehow i did. so i've gist changed and realized that golf is not that big a deal. it's gotten me some great things great press, some fame, some money, but it's let me do things that are important to me. doing junior tournaments, giving back to my community of pensacola. doing these great things. winning a golf tournament is great but doing these other things outside of golf is what it's all about so i put all that together. >> ambassador to the united nations from syria and the winner of the masters in 2012 when we continue.
captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: the ambassador of syria to the united nations, bashar ja'afari is here. his government announced today it will stop all fighting beginning thursday morning damascus time in compliance with the u.n. cease-fire. but the regime said it retain it is right to defend itself against what it calls armed terrorist groups. so far, syria has failed to meet a u.n. deadline to withdraw forces from major cities. an activist continued to report attacks by government forces in parts of syria today. speaking from tehran, united nations special envoy kofi annan
still expressed optimism that the cease-fire would take place. >> there has been further clarification from the syrian authorities that what they mean and want is an assurance that the other forces, the opposition forces would also stop the fighting so that we can see cessation of all violence and we have been in touch with them and have had positive answers for them to ensure that all parties respect the cease-fire and ensure that by... if everyone respects it, i think by 6:00 on thursday 12th, 6:00 in the morning on thursday the 12th we should see much improved
situation on the ground. >> rose: kofi annan is scheduled to brief his security council via video conference tomorrow. the united nations estimates at least 9,000 have died since the uprising began in march, 2011. ambassador bashar ja'afari joins me now. i am pleased to have him on this program. >> thank you very much, i am pleased to be with you, charlie, and thanks for having me. >> rose: tell me whether you believe this cease-fire will work. >> i have listened carefully to your representation and allow know bring some corrections. >> rose: okay. >> if you will. number one, it's not about cease-fire, it's about putting an end to the violence. s in the language used in the presidential statement of the security council as well as in the six-point plan of mr. kofi annan himself. when you say cease-fire that means you are in an armed conflict between two parallel
parties, which is not the case. because in syria we are going through a crisis, dramatic crisis, but it is a crisis. it's not an armed conflict between two armies or between two countries or between two neighbors. there is a big difference diplomatically and politically speaking between the two terms. this is number one. number two, my government is a responsible government and this is why we're asking mr. kofi annan to get everybody on board. everybody should be committed to the successful... to the success of mr. kofi annan's mission. syria is on board officially speaking. we notified that officially speaking this morning to the president of the council, the american ambassador, as for the security regime of the united nations, mr. ban ki-moon. so we are on board officially
speaking both through the capital, damascus, as well as through the permanent delegation of syria to the united nations represented by my... what we are suggesting is that mr. kofi annan since he is the mediator entrusted by the security council as well as by the secretary general and the so-called international community and since he got official written commitments from the syrian government so he should also get in touch with the other parties involved in this dramatic crisis we are going through. so that he will get similar commitments, similar guarantees that everybody will be on board of this mission in order to enable to him succeed. he is the one who should get back to the syrian authoritys with such guarantees because he is the one who committed himself to the syrian government that he will get in touch with the other
parties. meaning armed groups as well as countries because the syrian crisis has-- if you allow me we can elaborate later on-- three dimensions. and arab dimension and an international dimension. >> rose: all right. let me say with respect, many people are characterizing this as a cease-fire. i'll read you now the first sentence of a bbc news middle east report. "syria will end military operations on thursday state t.v. has said. the day a cease-fire brokered by the u.n.-arab league enindustry to syria is scheduled to come into effect." so the idea of a cease-fire is conventional wisdom in terms of most people as they view this. >> this is a loose interpretation charlie because this is not the dramatic language used by the security council or... in the syrian government in its negotiations with mr. kofi annan. it doesn't matter. i'm not contesting whether this term is valid or not. i'm saying that legally speaking
there is a big fence between declaring a cease-fire and putting an end to the violence. in our case we committed ourselves to put an end to the violence at least by the syrian government forces and, of course we are on alert. the syrian forces are on alert to counterattacks any attacks by the armed groups on... private and public facilities, on the syrian armies, on the civilians. so we are a sovereign state and we agreed on that with mr. kofi annan himself. >> rose: i say, as i think you're making the point, the announcement by state t.v. made no mention of mr. annan's cease-fire plan. made no mention of it. >> okay. >> rose: syrian television. also there's this. a spokesman for the main rebel force, the free syrian army, said the cease-fire was unlikely to take effect. "i don't believe our forces will stop shooting because the other
side won't stop." this captain said in a bbc interview on the turkey/syrian border. "if the other side stopped the syrian people would march on the president's palace on the same day. this means the regime won't stop >> i wouldn't comment on such simplistic language and irresponsible behavior by some... >> rose: the free syrian army. >> the people you are referring to. they are not a free army and they are not real syrian people caring about their own countries. >> rose: that's what i want to get at. how would you characterize and how do you define these people who are dying in opposition and in a fight against the syrian government? >> i wouldn't blame personally speaking these defectors from the army as well as members of the armed groups sponsored armed by countries in the area such as qatar, saudi arabia, and turkey. i wouldn't blame them because i
think they are all victims of this country's interference in our domestic affairs. i would say very simply that we should blame those who are manipulating these. >> rose: and who is that? >> qatar, saudi arabia, and turkey mainly speaking. these three countries are sponsoring the armed groups. >> rose: sponsoring them in what way? >> financially speaking, sending them weapons, sending them media coverage. >> rose: they deny that. >> testimony saudi minister for foreign affairs, charlie, declared publicly in cairo during the arab ministerial meeting that saudi arabia is going to arm the syrian opposition. he said it publicly in cairo and then he left the meeting in a sign of protest against the meeting because the other minister didn't comply to his requests. >> rose: there clearly is a war
going on in your country, yes? >> rose: it's not a war. it's not a civil war. it's a crisis. it's about armed groups undertaking military operations against the public and private facilities in the country. against civilians, against the army itself. i have myself notified in an official letter twrin the security council a list of almost 2,088 military officers killed by the armed groups, plus 497 police officers. so here we are talking about something like 2,600 military and police working for the state who got killed. who killed them? they got killed by the armed groups sponsored by some arab countries and some regional nations. >> rose: do you believe you can
kill your way out of this? >> it's a pity. it's a pity. whether it is one victim or 10,000 victims it's a pity. every single drop of syrian blood is a pity. we are extremely painful with this issue. this is why we declared our approval of the end of violence because we would like to save our own people. >> rose: now, you have had two supporters in the council: china and russia. at the same time, they both have urged you to push forward with this cease-fire but others say it's gone too far. that there's no return. that this government is at a place that it cannot come back and the negotiations are not possible. so what do you say to that? >> those who are casting some doubts about the credibility of the syrian government's position are, in my opinion, the ones to be blame because they are not careful about putting an end to the violence. they are incited to the violence
through all means... by all means. but the point is that these same parties are mainly speaking responsible for this incitement to this violence. i will tell you why. the syrian government notified officially speaking mr. kofi annan of his approval of his six-point plan on the 26th of march. on april 1, the turkish government held a meeting in istanbul calling... working first against kofi annan's mission because they called in that meeting for sponsoring the opposition, external opposition, arming the opposition, inciting to violence, paying salaries to these defectors and the armed groups members. so everything in that meeting in istanbul was against what kofi annan was calling for. so although the syrian
government agreed on the 26th, the meeting was held on april 1 and was exactly running against what mr. kofi annan was saying. >> rose: with respect, others suggest the syrian government has been backtracking from its agreement and making new demands up until today as to what it would do and secondly as kofi annan suggested, you were supposed to begin withdrawing and that has not taken place. >> no. this is not an accurate explanation of what's going on. the dates fixed by both the security council and mr. kofi annan is april 12. on april 12, the syrian government will stop the... will put an end to the violence by the syrian governmental forces. >> rose: but were you not supposed to begin pulling back earlier? the morning of april 12 is the deadline. >> we pulled back and we notified mr. kofi annan specially speaking more than ten times about partial pullbacks from the cities-- homs, damascus
idlib. we informed him. i have copies of these letters. we have informed the security council as well as mr. kofi annan about this pulling back of the weapons and... in implementation of item two of his plan. >> rose: there are those who argue, as i reflected earlier, that the killing of syrians by the syrian government has gone so far that this government cannot stay in power. the only thing it can do to remain in power is to suppress the people within its own country and to continue the killing. otherwise they will be eventually engaged in a civil war which imperils their existence. >> that was the initial plan set up by the enemies of syria. >> rose: the enemies of syria are syrians, are they not? >> not all of them are syrians.
not all of them. some of them get instructions from the countries where they live, where they are hosts. >> rose: you're suggesting these are not rebels who, in fact, are trying to overthrow their own government but in fact are people working on behest of other governments? >> not all of them, some of them. i'm talking about some wings of the external opposition. but this is not the point. the point is that while assessing the situation in syria the same governments who are saying that the syrian government has failed and respecting the safety of its own people, the same guys are from the beginning we are betting on the fact... on the fact that the syrian government will fail. it's about changing the government in syria. it's not about reforming or helping the syrians to reform their own countries. from the beginning their agenda, the agenda of these people outside syria both individually speaking as well as officially
speaking, some governments, all of them were working on an agenda which is based mainly speaking on overthrowing the government in syria and changing the country, changing the state because the whole issue is about changing the geopolitics in the area. it's not about reforming syria because we all want our country to be reformed. we have a lot of corruption and we are against this corruption. we would like to get rid of this corruption. >> rose: hasn't it gone beyond corruption? it has gone now to the fact that the government has killed its own citizens and killed them in a terribly brutal way and especially in homs where there's video of this happening. and when that happens a government puts its on a journey of no return. >> as i said at the beginning it's a painful situation for every syrian, including the syrian government. a government wouldn't kill its own people. this is wrong, charlie.
>> rose: but they have! >> no government on earth would kill its own people. >> rose: but you don't deny that they have and they've done in the a brutal way. >> no. some of the rebels were using civilians in homs as human shields and this is why sme innocent people got killed in the exchange of fires. but this is not the responsibility of... the exclusive responsibility of the government. when foreign journalists and reporters sneak into the country chren destinely... >> rose: they do that because they're not welcome to come in. >> absolutely not. we provided 400 visas to international reporters and international media agencies. i have a list. >> rose: the ones who sneaked in sneaked in because they couldn't get in otherwise. >> they should have waited until the syrian government tells them... gives them the green light. >> rose: but the people were dying. this is the kind of story... you can't keep journalists from not wanting to report a story when they know what's happening on the ground. >> we are not keeping journalists away. >> rose: but you were at one
time. >> we are a sovereign state, charlie. people should get into the country with a visa, we are not a banana republic. people should understand that syria is a sovereign state. there are laws to be respected. there are regulations to be respected. those who sneak into the country without the syrian government's approval, they were working in favor of framing the government, furnishing its image and providing wrong information to public opinion outside of syria. so the government didn't know that they were there. we... the government didn't know and they were inciting the people inside some civilian buildings towards resisting the government and continue the uprising. so somebody is working against the interest of the syrian people as a whole, i'm saying. >> rose: who are you saying is someone? >>. >> you may agree with me that the french authorities, for instance, said publicly that
they were supportive of overthrowing the regime in syria. >> rose: a number of political leaders around the world have said that the president should go if. including... >> including? >> rose: the united states. >> this is wrong. this is unlawful. this is against international law. nobody has the right to tell mr. obama to step down. >> but they're not saying they have the right to do it. but they're saying the circumstances have gone so far, you know, that the president... that they think the president will seriously consider giving up power because of how far the government has gone in the exercise of putting down this rebellion. >> those-- whether they are in the united states or france or turkey or qatar or saudi arabia-- who are really careful about the syrian people's interests, they should help the government putting an end to the violence rather than distributing arms, holding conferences in... on their own
territories for the syrian external wing opposition providing money, providing weapons to the syrian opposition military wing. if they were really careful about helping the syrian people, they would do that. they wouldn't interfere. >> rose: do you believe president obama is trying to interveer in the affairs in syria? >> not now. >> rose: and secretary of state clinton? >> not now, but couple months ago, yes, somebody was giving wrong advice to mr. obama so that they wanted him to get involved. i will give you an example. two senators were yesterday on the syrian/turkish borders. >> rose: john mccain. >> yes, and mr. lieberman. >> rose: joe lieberman. >> and both of them called, publicly speaking, for arming the opposition. >> rose: that's not new for them. they've... >> this is wrong, charlie. this is wrong. this is against... this runs against international law. >> rose: why do you think they did that? >>
>> for their domestic agenda. they have personal agendas. >> rose: you don't think it has anything to do with their own sense of outrage about what they perceived to be the circumstances? syria? >> i don't think so. if they were careful about sere t syrian people's interests and syrian blood they would have helped us get back land occupied by israel since 1967. in the golan there are syrians who live there and they need freedom and democracy and they need to live with their brothers and sisters and their main mother homeland. so we need people to understand that syria is somehow a victim of what's going on because of what i said at the beginning, there are three dimensions of the cry us. the arab dimension, international dimensions. >> rose: cut sr. an arab country. >> yeah, but qatar is working for non-arab agenda. the proof is they they helped nato funding libya.
>> rose: the prime minister of qatar came here, talked to me and the time and tried to spearhead a united nations response. >> rose: this gentleman with all due respect is the real outcome of the changes by force, by the nato, and qatar helped nato killing 150,000 libyan civilians. so qatar isn't working for an arab agenda. >> dave: who's working for an arab agenda. tell me who you think. you don't think saudi arabia is. iran is not an arab state. where is egypt on this? >> i will tell you something. most of the arab countries are currently speaking broken by the so-called... >> rose: arab spring. >> by the so-called arab spring. >> rose: most people think what's happening in syria is an extension of the arab spring.
that's how they see it. people rising up to see there's a dictatorship in my country, i want dignity, i want freedom, i want an opportunity opportunity to influence my own government. >> rose: the only secular government in the arab world is the syrian government. every else surrounding syria you have governments run by the muslim brotherhood branches. local, libya, tunisia, egypt, and the gulf states. yemen recently. >> you're familiar with the fact that in the conversation with me president asaid what he worries most about is keeping syria a secular state. >> you see what i'm saying? we are the only secular state in the area. compared to the other arab countries. >> rose: okay. >> charlie, people in the area are about... are out of
(inaudible) thousands of years of traditions. we don't need to create the so called minorities and majoritys in our area. we don't believe in that. we believe in building up real countries such as the united states. why would the united states be exclusively a country for the christians? you didn't do that mistake and thanks god you didn't do it. the beauty of u.s.a., australia, some nations, is about encouraging this kind of mosaic. >> rose: you seem to be wanting to say that what we're fighting for here are principles like a secular state, principles like the diversity and respect for variety of religions and those kinds of things. people in the world don't see it that way. they really do see it. and i'll bet you you hear this everyday at the united nations. they see it as a government that's gone too far in its brutality and putting down protests within their own boundaries. >> chargely, you have right now 65 international t.v. channels working around the clock to
tarnish the image of syria. to mislead and misinform the international public opinion about what's going on in syria. i'm not saying that we don't have a dramatic situation in syria. i acknowledge this and we need people and governments from outside to understand and help putting an end to the violence. not every single syrian opponent has a ph.d. in philosophy to understand what's going on on the ground. i said it also many of these syrian opponents, even those who use arms against the government are naive. they are victims because they are being manipulated by the poet roll dollars coming from qatar and saudi arabia as well as from the satellite channels based in saudi arabia and qatar also. you have people everyday around the clock calling the public opinion and syrian people for uprising against government and they are sending money and
weapons. we shouldn't ignore these facts. right today the jordanian customs on the syrian jordanian border arrested some guys with millions of saudi rials to sneak into syria. >> rose: do you think bashar al assad, the president of syria, can survive this or will there be changes within the regime? >> if the issue about spreading democracy, strengthens human rights, strengthening and protection of human rights that shouldn't come from wrong examples in the area would saudi arabia be a good example of democracy in would qatar will b a good example of democracy and strengthening of human rights in syria? this is wrong. >> rose: that's not a comparison that is relevant. what goes on in saudi arabia is a question to be examined in saudi arabia. what's going on in cut sr. a question... one's one by an
emir... supply >> why not apply the same rules to sere ja? in syria we don't have a ruling family. we have a president elected by his people and there are forthcoming elections in 2014 where the people will decide whether they want to keep mr. assad or not. >> rose: how long has the assad family been in power in syria? >> i'm talking about the current president. >> but the current president inherited the job from his father. >> he didn't inherit the job from his father. he was elected. >> rose: he was groomed by his father to succeed him. you know that. >> is that the issue now? >> no, no, but i'm just saying there has been one family in control in syria for a long time. >> no, the issue actually... this is a very important question but let me answer it this way: number one the critics coming from some countries both at in the area as well outside are not realistic critics because they come from bad examples this is what i'm
saying. saudi arabia qatar, whatever. this is number one. number two, the syrian democracy started in 1919 at a time where saudi arabia was not there as a state. where qatar was a british colony. so we don't have to... we don't draw any lesson from people whose democratic experience is not equal to the syrian experience. this is what i'm saying. number three. by all means the syrian people aspire to further democratic reforms in the country and we would like... >> rose: they would say that's what this is about. >> we would like all to see our country reformed. drastically speaking. and now we have started a process. we have now a multipartisan system, we have new elections and new parliament and new constitution. we band the emergency law, we banned the high security calls. we are on the right track.
we need some time, just some time, to materialize these popular claims. they are legitimate. the popular claims are legitimate and we need to fulfill the aspirations. >> rose: the popular claims are legitimate? >> why should we do it through a collective suicide? this is a problem. we are saying to our external wing opposition as well as to the people inside let us reform our country collectively speaking without the bloodshed. >> rose: so the collective conversation taking place would be a dialogue between your government and those people who make up whatever group or organization is a collective group in protest against government. this is what you would like to see? >> absolutely! this is part of kofi annan's mission. >> rose: do you believe it's possible? >> absolutely. absolutely. >> rose: do that you believe the cease-fire; whatever we call it, is not in security council language if that's what's common parlance. if it is effective you believe that can be the first step?
>> absolutely. >> rose: and do you believe that if, in fact, that president assad... if it's demanded he go that that is a possibility that could happen in order to maintain some kind of new beginning for syria. >> number one, i believe that yes if we put an end to the violence, all the parties-- i'm not talking about only syrian government forces-- if everybody commits to putting an end to the violence by tomorrow morning, 6:00, timing of damascus, yes, we are on the right track. number one, number two... >> rose: the right track that could bring a change in the government of syria including the president? >> up to the people's will. it's not up to qatar's will, it's not up to saudi arabia will it's not up to united states will, it's not up to sarkozy will. it's up to the syrian people will. >> rose: let me make one point... >> and this is part of the reform, by the way.
>> rose: the reform that the syrian government says it's prepared to under take. >> and it was approved by the parliament. yes, we are moving towards a new parliament, a new constitution, now we have a new constitution, multiparty system, free elections. >> rose: at this table you are saying you have great opposition to the fact that the turkish government or the saudi government or the qatar government may be supporting the rebels in one way or the other? >> it's not maybe, they said it publicly? >> fair enough. maybe it has to do with the extent of how you find the support. the iranians are supporting you, the russians are supporting you. they're providing... the russians have acknowledged they've sent enormous arms to the syrian government. the iranians have been very vocal in their support of their friend the syrians. the government outside of syria who's saying we support our friends in syria. that's what the russians said to me at this table. >> rose: this is a good sign.
>> rose: well you're the one complaining about the other side that said we supported these people as they supported the libyan rebels even though there's a difference and the two circumstances. >> to those who are betting on ostracizing syria are i don't think, syria is not weak and isolated, syria is not ostracized. >> rose: syria presumes... it looks like they're prepared to fight to the end. >> absolutely. we have friends all over the world. those who attended the world in istanbul were only 71 countries. >> rose: which countries do you consider your friends other than syria and russia and china. >> it's very informative that there were only 71 countries while at the united nations you have to deal with 193 member states. so one-third of the so-called international community decided to meet in istanbul the two other thirds did not go.
that means the majority are against an interference in the domestic affairs of syria. we are legally speaking in a very strong position legally speaking because it's wrong to interfere in other business and domestic affairs. this is wrong. this is item one. >> you did not have a successful vote in the united nations security council because russia and china blocked it. >> thank god. this is a kind of balance of powers. we need it. the council is not democratic anymore. the shape of the council is wrong. because the security council has not really formed since 1963 in spite of the change that are offered on the international arena. since 196 we are dealing with 15 members. >> rose: mr. ambassador, with respect again. you represent your government here. these are very difficult times for syria. there have been accusations against your country and the behavior of the army at home and
other places that have caused, it's fair to say, a worldwide revulsion against it what they see and have been reported has there been a moment where you felt like this has gone to too far and i can't represent my government? >> no way because i know the truth. number one, i don't deny that victims, innocent victims fall in this crisis. it's a pity not only for me but for all syrians all over the world, including syria itself. we are not denying the facts. what we are saying is that please stop manipulating our own people, the syrian people is not a matter of doing business, political business qatar, saudi arabia, r using our crisis as a card of bids, making business. this is a dirty game and it couldn't be done at the detriment of the suffering of the syrian people.
whether we are talking about one victim or 10,000 victims, this is a huge price the syrian people are paying. we suffer. this is why i said at the beginning we would like to put an end... >> rose: you're suffering not only in terms of world opinion but in terms of the price of gasoline, people tell me there are lines around the corner in terms of the price of gasoline and the scarcity of gasoline. people tell me tourism is now up to 15% or 20% and it's a huge revenue for your government. >> this is a very important point, charlie. who dynamite it had pipelines? who exploded the trains carrying on a feud for areas in this harsh winter in syria. who carried out these terrorist attacks against the economy infrastructure in the country? this is exactly what we are talking about. we are suffering because of that and these armed groups are attacking the infrastructure in the country. so the whole syrian people are losing.
not only the government. it's about billions of dollars that we are using. number two, charlie, and this is an important point. when the united states and the european unions and some arab states imposed economic sanctions on syria of course the fuel price will go up, the food prices will go up because we are under sanctions so you cannot be an arsonist and fireman at the same time. we need firemen. some governments are playing the role of arsonists in our country. of course we are going through an economic crisis. the prices are very high now for the syrian citizens. but this is part of the plan. how to put the syrian people and syrian government on its knees through economic sanctions. >> rose: this is self-serving on my part. i've interviewed your president twice. he hasn't done an interview in a while. since... >> rose: except with barbara walters.
>> rose: our multifriend. will he speak out again and sit and have a conversation and try to explain how he seize the cease-fire to me or other journalists? >> my president is a man of contacts, as you know, he believes in communication. he believes in the necessity of communicating his own ideas to the world outside of syria. i'm sure he is an open-minded person and he will be glad to convey through your good sense or through everybody else the real facts surrounding the syrian crisis. >> rose: tell him i'm prepared to come this weekend. >> thank you, i will. >> rose: thank you for doing this, this is a difficult time for syria. you know how the world opinion seems to say about this and there are too many... there's been too many deaths. there's been too much violence and kofi annan is trying his
best to find his way out of this so i thank you for coming and expressing the opinions of you and your government. >> rose: thanks for inviting me and for sharing this information. thanks a lot. >> rose: earlier today i had a conversation with bubba watson, the golfer who won the masters this year. we're showing to you in two parts because we don't have enough time to include the entire bubba watson interview as well as the interview with the syrian ambassador to the united nations and we want to see both of them in their entirety. so tonight part one of the bubba watson conversation not just about golf but about his life and his beliefs and his future. bubba watson is here. at six years old he began curbing plastic golf balls with a nine-iron in his family's backyard. he's never had a coach or taken a single lesson. on sunday he was crowned the masters champion at augusta national. he captured the green jacket in dramatic fashion in a second death playoff he pulled off one
of the most dramatic shots in championship history. >> did it go up? look at it. another watson is wearing a green jacket at augusta! and this time his name is bubba. >> rose: tom watson then bubba watson, the title was his first try yum inform a major tournament. he's poised to continue that success at the u.s. open in june at the historic olympic club in san francisco. i'm pleased to have him at this table for the first time. welcome. >> thank you very much. >> that that shot. everybody's talking about it. when did you know that it had had the effect you wanted it to
have. >> i felt like i didn't hook it enough. and then the crowd rushes in so you can't see it. your feeling changes because you can't see it so the crowd rushed in. got out to the fareway, i heard the crowd roaring by the green and i asked my caddy and he said "about 15 feet from the hole." i said "it got all the way up there?" he said "yeah, it did." and i said "wow, that's crazy." >> rose: what were visualizing when you took your swing? >> i was visualizing a big hook, maybe at the best getting it to the center of the green but with adrenaline i got it to go all the way up to there to the pen and 15 feet from the hole somehow. >> rose: when louis hit that double eagle you said "i almost wanted to go over and high five him." >> for sure. because as a golf fan that's an amazing shot and nobody's ever double eagled that hole. >> let's go to two. the young south african. trying to use those slopes. this one could be very nice.
could be very nice! (cheers and applause) >> oh, come to papa! yes! double eagle. >> you wanted to go up and high five him because of the love of the game and the respect for what he accomplished? >> yes, for sure. as a friend of his, as watching that shot as a golf fan, a golf fan of the masters, that's just incredible. the crowd roared for it felt like five minutes. it was just amazing that shot. >> rose: winning the masters, wearing the green jacket, being able to go to the winners clubhouse. what does it mean? >> it means that i have accomplished something in my life that i've always wanted to do. i got to do something great but it means more to show my mom that her hard work paid off. show my friends and family that their encouragement, their
support is paid off. i want them to be part of this victory as much as me. my wife who is home with our new baby boy. >> rose: caleb. >> and my sponsors. everybody. this is for them. this is for them supporting me and showing me love and respect and it's so much fun to do. for them to be a part of it as well is exciting. >> rose: you love the game. >> i love the game. it's brought me everything. i went to many countries because of it. i went to many countries before i turned pro because of the game. the game of golf has brought me and my dad closer. brought me aa way to give back to the communities, give back to junior golf, give back to juniors, to youth in general. give back to many charities across the world. the game has brought me so much of my life and so much excitement and somehow they pay me to play golf. (laughs) >> rose: they pay you well. it brought your dad and you closer? >> for sure. >> rose: in what way?
>> father/son time. at six years old... when you're playing baseball-- which every kid i think does in america-- when you're playing baseball and basketball your dad is just watching. he doesn't get to play the game with you. yelling at you, screaming, cheering you on, but he doesn't get to play with you. but golf lets us ride in the cart together. four hours, five hours on slow rounds we hang out just us two. his bad shots, my bad shots, our good shots, we celebrate that together and i think it brought us closer together. the father and son time was... the bonding was better. >> rose: when did you know you had something? >> i got lucky enough to shoot in the 60s at age 12. >> rose: (laughs) that will tell you. >> i happened to shoot in a tournament round in pensacola i shot 62 one time, ten birdies and eight pars. >> rose: what do you attribute it to? is it natural? is it the fact that you had something other people didn't? was it natural athletic ability? was what was it?
>> definitely not mental. i think it's athletic ability. my dad was an athlete. my mom... can play sports so i think that all that combined is just... i was an athlete. >> rose: was it especially because of... only for golf or could you have done that in basketball as well? >> basketball is a little slow. i was a pretty good pitcher. i paid pitcher for years. don mattingly was my favorite baseball player, a great yankee. so baseball is what my dad wanted me to be. he wanted me to be a picture for the yankees. he was upset the day i chose to go golf and no more baseball. but now obviously he probably really enjoys it. >> rose: (laughs) i bet he does. when you were playing alongside and he hit that double eagle you said to yourself what a great shot but you also said to yourself i could make a lot of birdies on the back nine. >> uh-huh. >> rose: where did that come from? >> knowing... you heard roars all day.
when i got to the course beau van pelt shot 64 with a couple eagles and a hole in one so you heard a bunch of roars and sunday at the masters is always wild, always great. great thet sore i eagled both holes on both back nines before. i birdyed the second hole after he double eagled so i was three back of him. so i was just focused on what i had to do. i didn't think about catching him right away. i was just trying to play steady; play my game and hopefully make birdies coming down the stretch and i made four in a row on the back nine. >> rose: (laughs) yes you did. when you got to the 18th you could have won it with a putt. >> the first putt on the regulation was about 18 feet. just didn't break as much as i thought. just left it on the high side. and then in the playoff i had a ten-footer as well. >> rose: on the first 18. >> on the first playoff hole. >> rose: which was the 18th, wasn't it? >> just missed that. that one broke, the other one
didn't and just missed it. >> rose: what was amazing is it didn't break and you almost were confounded by the fact it didn't break. like ball, you didn't go where you were supposed to! >> right, louis on his putt on the playoff didn't break at all and it stayed on the lip and if his broke like mine he wins the masters and somehow his doesn't break and somehow mine does. we went to the next hole and then shot... the shot everybody knows. >> rose: yes, and we see over and over and over and it will live in golf history. there's also this. this notion that you... i said to you the other day... this morning we had a young woman golfer who's winning everything on the women's tour and she said "what's your attitude?" she said "grip it and rip it." that's yours, too. >> that's what my dad taught me, hit it, go find it and hit it again. >> rose: why no lessons? >> i was improving as a young kid. my dad saw it was a fun game for
me, i enjoyed it. there's no reason to get technical. this technical stuff is not for me and i was improving each year we saw the ladder getting better and better. just keep doing your thing and get better and better. >> rose: do you practice a lot? >> i play golf a lot. i don't like to go on the range. i just love to play golf. when i'm at home i play 18 holes or 36 holes a day. >> rose: is it a teaching phenomenon for you? if you're just simply playing? >> by playing... by playing i'm playing all the shots. i'm under the trees, in the fairway, in the bunkers. if you're in the driving range you always have a perfect lie. >> rose: (laughs) is that part of the reason you can recover well, as you did? >> well, i've... over the course of my career i've been in the rough a lot so i'm used to it and playing at home you go for the fence and it it hard as you can so you're in the trees a lot so i'm used to recovering. used to hitting those shots and they don't scare me. >> rose: two things come out of
this. one, you love the game and you found early you had talent and love the game. do you advise others to just find a passion for the game and let it rip and find your own swing? >> for sure. i have two junior tournaments one in florida and one in north carolina. when i talk to them i always tell the parents let them be kids. when they get to high schools you can get some instructions but as a kid let them enjoy the game. go out there, have mother/daughter, mother/son, father/daughter, father/son, let them enjoy the game that's so great. >> rose: in golf history who was your idol? >> growing up payne stewart. i wore nickers until i was 12 years old. my grandma made them for me. >> rose: all because of payne? >> because of payne stewart. i loved everything about him. i love how he presented himself. he was kind of like me now that i know... in the '80s he was
kind of a rough character. he was kind of bitter, not really many people liked him. he was changing his life around and he became the payne that everybody knows and loves today. i was at the university of georgia when that went down. >> the u.s. open he had was phenomenal. and >> and when he grabbed his wife and said that i kept my head down. >> rose: you play with tiger a lot, too. >> uh-huh. >> rose: do you have a different approach than he does? >> his mind works different than mine. he loves the technical side and figuring out the swing. he's trying to find the great swing everybody is trying to find like the ben hogan and stuff. hi analyzes stuff. and while we play together i would watch him and where he practiced and why he practiced short games and he was learning from me the shot shapes and how
i go about it and how i'm so relaxed and he was figuring out me and i was figuring out him. so that's why we play together is to learn from each other. you can always learn. >> rose: have you gone to him and said "just relax, let it flow"? >> i said hit in the media a year ago. i got crucified for it. >> rose: from him or... >> no, from other media. and all i was saying was he needs to keep hitting his shots. he's a shot maker. he's been the shot shaper of life and he's getting back to that. obviously he won by hitting some great shots and he's going to get back to the tiger woods... >> rose: no question he deal that. >> you're not that good and can't perform. michael jordan took time off and came back and performed pretty well so athletes, they don't lose that. >> rose: when you look at the tour today size it up for me where you think it is. >> i think the junior golf is going, the game of golf globally is going.
we're about to be in the olympics. countries are getting more involved. i think it's taken a stride to do some great things. i think rory mcelroy, ricky fowler. you've got... i mean, i can just keep naming people below 30 that are performing in the high level and performing at a high level but with a great attitude with giving back with supporting junior golf with signing autographs for all these kids. we had a lull there for a second but i think we're in the right path now. >> is there some of zef vi in you? >> i hope so. he was a great champion. >> rose: well, he got in trouble too. >> he hit shots that were quite amazing. that was if guy i watched. i watched he was never afraid. he loved being in trouble because he could hit amazing shots and recover and change the momentum of the game of golf. so yeah obviously i love
watching the old highlights so i take a little bit from that. >> rose: it doesn't scare you? >> no, only water. >> rose: you can't play out of water. that scares you. >> yeah, that scares me. >> rose: that's part one of our conversation with bubba watson which took place earlier today. part two of the conversation tomorrow night. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org